Finger Foods For Babies
Self-feeding is a vital skill that your baby can learn around 9 or 10 months of age and master by 12 – 15 months. Nutrition amid the first year of your baby’s life is really important for proper development and growth. Babies are also developing motor as well as oral skills. Anyways, safety is the key, as almost any food can be a choking hazard for a toddler if it’s not served properly. Always remember, older infants may just be starting to get teeth so that they eat by mashing the food with their gums. In this case, it is absolutely necessary to feed your infant based on his/her feeding skills as well as the developmental age. Here comes the role play of finger foods.
Finger Foods – What Are They?
Any food that is a bite-size, easy-to-eat that your baby can pick up and eat by himself/herself qualify as a finger food. Eating this is fun for your baby, and this is an important step towards independence which also helps him/her develop his fine motor skills as well as coordination.
Sometimes, food play can get messy, but do not be too quick with the washcloth: Allow your baby to enjoy this important hands-on learning experience!
Here are some suggestions of finger foods to help you feed your baby.
Steamed, frozen, fresh organic peas can be your toddler’s favorite! Super-easy to defrost or steam, they are the perfect size for their tiny fingers to pick it up, and can easily be mashed by the gums of infants. Green veggies have almost all the vitamin and mineral you can think of! If you are introducing babies early and often to green veggies, then they will stick to it and eat more veggies for life!
Small soft pieces of scrambled eggs are one of the best first finger food. Also, it is easier for a 8 or 9-month old toddler to grab and put in his/her mouth. Eggs are a powerhouse of protein, fat as well as other nutrients. Make scrambled eggs at morning and night healthy breakfast and dinner option for all ages.
Sticky Rice, Thick Cereal, Mashed Potatoes
Accept it! This is a rather unconventional and messy! But babies love self-feeding it. protect the floor as well as your sanity by placing a clean mat under your baby’s high chair before allowing him/her to dip her fingers or else even grab the food in your baby’s fist. Remember, playing with food is a vital developmental step and it can even help children be a better learner.
Well cooked Beans
Cooked and soft beans or lentils are a healthy plant-based source of great protein, iron, zinc as well as fiber. Parents may not think of giving plain beans to their babies, but they come in different colors and they are even fun to count. Go bananas with beans! Slightly mashed plain beans are easy for older infants and toddlers to pick up. They make a great addition to any snack or lunch.
Soft, Raw Fruit Like Watermelon
Naturally soft vegetables and fruits don’t have to be cooked for your infant to safely eat them. The wholesome choices such as watermelon, tomatoes, peaches, and avocado can be cut into small cubes or elongated pieces to make it easy for your babies as young as 7 months to grab. In any shape, they are ultra-easy and nutritious.
Before infants master the pincer grasp, they use their palm to grab. That makes broccoli florets on a stalk just right as a finger food shape. So, cook the broccoli well before you offer it to your infant. Somewhat bitter taste of cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli may be challenging for the sensitive palates, but do not give up. Here, the good news is that with the consistent exposure infants are likely to accept the less-liked foods over time!
How Can You Know When Your Baby Is Full?
Your babies can be fussy or cry because they are hungry, upset, tired, uncomfortable, or need to be burped or diaper change. Here are some common signs that your baby is hungry like:
- Smacking lips
- Pointing at spoon, food, or feeder’s hand
- Grabbing for or leaning toward breast or bottle
- Moving hands to mouth and sucking his or her own hands
If hunger cues are missed, they at times tend to get upset with crying or fussing. It’s important to try to catch hunger cues in order to make feedings enjoyable for both the baby and yourself!
Be sure to choose food that is appropriate for your baby’s age. You shouldn’t give very young children peanut or fish products because the child might develop a food allergy. Babies don’t need additional juice or water for hydration. So, provide some in a cup in order to help with transition off the bottle from 12 months.